One morning, Maria came to Luc for help. She pounded on his door in desperation, a sound that had always sparked his interest. His dick rose: he knew it was her.
Maria had four brothers, the youngest of whom had followed her to Canada: like his sister, Monterey’s noisy streets were never home to Lazaro.
Lazaro had recently taken ill with an STD he contracted in Mexico City when he lost his cherry to an experienced, disease-ridden prostitute named Esperenza. Pus oozed from the tip of his penis, and recently, he was unable to walk: his body, unable to fight the illness.
Lazaro was embarrassed: he didn’t reach out to Maria until he was in the hospital. She went to Luc’s house immediately after receiving his call.
Though Luc was enamored with Maria, he respected her, never using his power of persuasion to penetrate her pants. When he invoked her sacred name in conversation, the word ‘sister’ was never far behind. Still, he wanted her.
Luc opened the door, and Maria’s downcast face didn’t surprise him.
“Luc, my brother’s ‘seek’!”
“I know he is, Maria.”
“Well, what the fuuuucccckkkk, Luc?”
Luc had never met Lazaro and yet, he loved him.
“I know, Maria.”
And then, Luc closed the door. Luc knew that her Lazaro would soon die. He also knew that Lazaro lived in Victoria, which was still abuzz in the wake of his recent healing. He had expected to bump into Lazaro on his trip: it hadn’t happened, but Luc knew he would meet him one day.
Luc’s Victorian reception was mixed: some liked him, and many didn’t trust him. Luc’s friends were concerned when he told them he was going back. Nathaniel drove Luc to the airport, fearful he would never see him again.
“Luc, do you have any idea as to what kinda shit you’ve stirred up over there? Seriously, do you have any idea as to the kind of shit you’ve stirred up on that entire fuckin’ Island? You’ve done what many people have wanted to do for years! You righted a wrong. You’ve done justice there and nothing, NOTHING, is more threatening than that! Everyone wants it and yet it confounds them! Don’t go, man. They’ll fucking string you up! They will crucify you if you set foot into their precious little town again! Please don’t go.”
“I have to, Nate.”
Nathaniel knew better than to argue with Luc. They sat in silence for the remainder of the trip, and Nathaniel gave Luc a long hug before he walked through the airport’s sliding doors. Luc flew by night, arriving in Victoria with the sunset. He took a cab to the closest hostel.
The night was especially dark: rain poured from the sky. Luc phoned Nathaniel from a pay phone outside the hostel: his call disturbed his friend’s sleep.
“Look, man. The reason I came out here is because Maria’s brother is sleepin’ and I’ve gotta wake him up.”
Nathaniel was half asleep. Luc’s excited words made him suspect Luc had hit the coffee again. Nathaniel often received impassioned, highly caffeinated phone calls like this from his friend.
“Luc, I’ve gotta work tomorrow mornin’.”
“Don’t you fuckin’ see Nate!? Lazaro’s fuckin’ dead! I am gonna go to the grave yard and make the fucker live! Have you ever met Maria?”
“Is she hot?”
“YES! Wait… fuck you Nate. That’s not even the fuckin’ point… are you even listening to what I’m saying to you?”
“Man, I’m fuckin’ beat. Phone me back tomorrow, and Luc…”
“Take care of yourself, ok?”
Luc struggled with sleep: his mind raced. Finally he gave up, and walked around town. Victoria’s silence impressed him: her streets were mostly empty. Free and happy in anonymity, Luc went to an all-night diner and ordered some fries before retiring to the beach to smoke a bowl.
Waves crashed; Luc loved the sound of water on sand. The rain smashed against his forehead, his arms, and his face— he welcomed nature’s rage, and lit cigarette. He walked back to his hostel at 3:00 AM. The small town now comatose, he finally slept.
The following morning, Luc attended Lazaro’s funeral in disguise. Maria was there with her family, her black dress, drenched with her tears. She was gorgeous, Catholic and holy.
Lazaro, like Maria, had remained devoutly Catholic upon moving to Canada. He was involved in the Church community and any of his friends were Celtic Christians. His funeral fast turned into a wake.
After the service, Maria ran to Luc.
“Luuuucc! If only you had known, if you had been here you could have saved him! He was too young for this; my baby is gone!”
She collapsed into Luc’s arms and his suit jacket was peppered with spicy tears; he tried to hide his attraction, but his pants swelled.
“He’ll be fine, Maria, don’t worry.”
“He’s fucking dead, Luc. Don’t fuckin’ talk that shit to me—don’t be like everyone else who says what they’re supposed to say. Grieve with me! Don’t fuckin’ lie and blow smoke up my asshole!”
Again, she buried her head in his chest.
“He’ll be fine, Maria.” Luc insisted as he rubbed her back.
“What the Hell do you mean by that Luc? That I will see him in Heaven? I don’t want to see him there, I wanna see him down here! I didn’t even make it to the fucking hospital before he died! What the fuck kind of sister am I?”
Luc held her in his arms, reassuring her with his touch.
The evening ended drunkenly at Lazaro’s favourite pub; he had been buried earlier in the day. The following morning, Luc phoned Maria at her hotel.
“Maria, meet me tomorrow at the Flying Beagle.”
“What the fuck is a ‘flying beagle’?”
“The Flying Beagle. It’s on Cook and Oxford. Meet me there at 3:00. Let’s go put some roses on your brother’s grave before we go back to Calgary.”
“Yep, I’ll see ya then.”
Maria walked into the pub half an hour late. She sat down at the table and Luc pulled some flowers from his back-pack.
“Hope you brought your fuckin’ rain boots, Maria. Does it ever stop raining here?”
He looked at her feet— black pumps. Maria was always fashionably impractical in her choice of shoes.
Luc finished his pint, and they walked to the cemetery. Maria fell to her knees, kissed Lazaro’s rich soil, and began to cry.
“Dig, Lazaro, dig!” Luc shouted.
Luc’s booming baritone scared Maria, who lay prostrate six feet above her brother, who became animate once more.
Lazaro was reluctant, but diligent as he struggled to escape his claustrophobic dark. He scratched the casket’s velvet ceiling and it shattered. Decomposed fingernails swam through mud. Lazaro pissed the cyanide out of his system and became strong once more. He dug upwards toward sister, toward sky.
The ground beneath Maria’s quaking lips stirred and she jumped. A hand reached out of the ground. Luc held long lost brother’s shrunken hand tightly in his own, pulling him from manicured muck.
Dirty and emaciated, Lazaro breathed deeply his first breath of salty sea air for the second time. The differences between brother and sister, pronounced: Maria, beautiful, elegant, and sensual, looked at her brother in horror, amazed by how hard death had worked on him.
Already mostly decomposed, Lazaro was weak, gaunt and grave.
Luc into Lazaro’s eyes and saw himself; he wept.